Marcus Brigstocke - God Collar

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Opened 4 February 2010, Closed 11 February 2010 at the Vaudeville Theatre in London

Marcus Brigstocke presents his new show God Collar in London for seven performances only.

"There's probably no God. But I wish there was. I've got some things I need to ask him" Marcus Brigstocke started his career in comedy whilst at Bristol University, where alongside Danny Robins and Dan Tetsell, he performed to university and national crowds and soon won the 1996 BBC New Comedian Award at the Edinburgh Festival. He has since emerged as a major comedy, writing and acting talent, performing stand up to sell out audiences across the country. He has become a regular voice on BBC Radio, and has notched up an impressive list of TV credits. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival has provided Marcus with an exceptional environment to explore many aspects of his comedic ability - performing character, stand up and sketch shows to great critical acclaim. Marcus now comes to London with his latest show God Collar following a season at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and an Autumn UK Tour.

Marcus Brigstocke said: "I'm not just going to go, 'I'm an atheist and you're all thick.' Religion is something very dear to a lot of people. I explore why I can't go that far with my beliefs - it's the most personal thing I've done... I take climate change very seriously. I make jokes about it but I take it seriously."

"The TV-friendly comic Marcus Brigstocke looks as much at home on the panel of Question Time as he does performing live stand-up on the West End stage. His gift of balancing gravitas and gall makes him one of a group of comedians who you go to see for how they think and what they think as much as to laugh at the product of the two... While the 36-year-old comic's scathing wit is on a roll at times and some of his diversions from the theme, such as his despatch of people dependent on their iPods, can be top notch. But the show loses focus, especially in the second half where amiable stuff about his kids and his grandparents may be warm but it doesn't quite put the human into Humanist in terms of backing up any point he might be making... Nevertheless, in spite of some slightly less-than-divine diversions, the empirical evidence suggests there are a number of reasons to believe in Brigstocke's stature as a figurehead for comedy, even if he is not yet an icon." The Independent

"Here, he's out to challenge the orthodoxies of scepticism as well as jingoism. So Richard Dawkins gets it in the neck for his self-satisfaction, while the major religions get in the neck for... well, you name it: misogyny, homophobia, pettiness, pride. There are provocative points here and some delightful gags... but the show is an intellectual grab-bag, not a coherent argument, and he admits as much. 'I'd rather be happy than right,' he says... It looks like he's caught in an internal tussle here over whether to denounce duff arguments - be right - or just to celebrate life's lunacies - be happy. When, magically, he mixes the two, his snarliness finally plays as something both personal and persuasive. This densely inventive show suggests there are still great things to come from this 36-year-old comedian." The Times

"Marcus Brigstocke has evolved wonderfully over his years in Edinburgh... some comics are the triumph of style over content, but Brigstocke is the perfect combination. The theme is religion, Christianity in the main part, although Islam's current PR methodology gets a well-aimed swipe. But it is mainly God who gets it in the eternal neck from Brigstocke here. I expect he can take it. Such is the quality of Brigstocke's writing that, before he has drawn breath at the end of his first paragraph, he has aimed, fired and hit Edinburgh chippies, Humanists, Muslim fundamentalists, Nestle, the Pope and Jeremy Clarkson." The Scotsman

"God Collar sees Marcus Brigstocke take a fun-filled and insightful look at the inadequacies of religion in the modern context. The TV and radio regular delivers intelligent insight and scathing wit throughout, with an endearing confidence which has marked his rise to success... Sneering at those who don't share his self-confessed middle class, liberal views, this is an accessible and mildly offensive show which leaves few popular beliefs unchallenged in a balanced lampoon of almost everything from his children to the Ten Commandments. Consistently witty as he meanders through this fertile comedy ground, his direct and warm style also give the show an intimate feel... Critical and convincing without ever crossing the line, Brigstocke's incisive mockery is more playful than hostile and explains his wholesale appeal." The Edinburgh Evening News

"Perfectly structured and packed with passion, intelligence and the right kind of false-footing scepticism, this is a 60-minute broadside not only on the manifest failings of the world's main religions, but also on the complacency and arrogance of the atheist lobby, of which Marcus Brigstocke counts himself a member... Not content to remain at the level of combative cynicism, the act builds a life-affirming momentum of its own, Brigstocke rejoicing in his children's wide-eyed enthusiasms and finally sharing anguish and affection as he recalls the tragic death of his best friend. Rare is the stand-up show that makes you laugh, think and then fight back the tears. This is it." The Daily Telegraph

Marcus Brigstocke in London at the Vaudeville Theatre from 4 to 11 February 2010.